harnessing the power of photography for good

Posts tagged “Terry Schwartz

Adios Oaxaca!

This was our set up in 2010 when Terry Schwartz and brotherjoe first came down to Oaxaca for Summer Camp.  We brought 2 compact HP Printers to print 4×6 portraits of the kids at camp.  Since then we have been down to Oaxaca for Summer Camp 3 of the last 4 years and we have learned a lot about how much gear we need to bring.  We definitely used to bring too much back then.

This year, with 2 Summer Camps back to back, it’s been a busy week and half.  We now leave one of the printers in Oaxaca, so we don’t have to bring it down with us anymore.

The kids are just as cute as they were in 2010!  And the blessings are just as huge.  Amazingly, there are still kids who have never had their photo taken! That’s why we come to Oaxaca.

Tonight brotherjoe heads off to new territory for Mission Focused….Guadalajara!

We have never photographed on mission there, so it’s gonna be exciting!!

Adios Oaxaca!  Cya soon.


Serving Alongside Adventures in Life in Mexico

edit-2584We have been blessed to photograph the work of Adventures in Life in Mexico over the past 4 years.  This photo was taken in the main marketplace in Oaxaca, with the owner of the world famous NIEVES OAXAQUEÑAS CHAGÜITA.   Our friend Crystal (Multi Cultural Cooking Network) posted a nice little article about the work Dave Miller and Adventures in Life Ministry has been doing in Mexico, you can read the article HERE.


Adventures in Life :: Celebrating 20 Years of Ministry in Mexico

Today friends, family, ministry partners and supporters of Adventures in Life will be coming together to help celebrate 20 years of ministry in Mexico.

We would like to wish our friends Dave & Chelle Miller and Adventures in Life many blessings and God’s speed for 20 more years of fruitful ministry in Mexico!


Sleepless San Diego 2012

Sleepless San Diego 2012 was another great success!  Thanks to everyone who slept out to help raise awareness

of the homeless population in San Diego.  To learn more about Sleepless and the San Diego Rescue Mission please go HERE.

To see a few photos from the event, please check out our Facebook page HERE…don’t forget to”Like” us 🙂

More photos soon…


Pray for Terry

Terry, being prayed for by the kids of Dios es Amor Summer Camp in Ensenada, at the end of a great week of photographing there.

Our friend and fellow photographer, Terry Schwartz, is a faithful man of God who loves to use the gift of photography to bless others.

The doctors have found a small cancerous growth on his vocal chords.  Please pray for Terry that God would be glorified in his life.  That if God chooses to heal Terry before the doctors do anything or if the treatment the doctors prescribe gets rid of the cancer…whatever happens, Terry would be a light to the doctors and a sweet aroma that causes them to want we Terry has.  Jesus!

If you know Terry feel free to reach out to him with words of encouragement and prayers.  He’s a tough Marine, and we are sure God is gonna be glorified through him!

2 Corinthians 2:14

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.


Adventures in Life :: Twenty

Our friends at Adventures in Life Ministry are celebrating 20 years of ministry in Mexico.  We are truly blessed to have been able to photograph what God is doing through AIL in Ensenada and Oaxaca.  In the next few months we will be sharing a few of our favorite photos from the last 3 years that we have been photographing for Adventures in Life.  You can learn more about the work of Adventures in Life by going HERE.  Enjoy!

Our 2nd trip to Oaxaca in July of 2010 for AIL Kids Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm in Zimatlan, Oaxaca.  

The above photo was taken as we were waiting for a bus so we could make our way to Tlacolula from the city…I remember hearing Dave say,” jump on the nicest bus”…which we did.  In the mean time we passed up 4 or 5 buses and ended up waiting another 30 minutes.  I was fine, but the gals apparently had to go to the bathroom.  The nice bus ride was 40 minutes to our destination….

This was taken in San Felipe Guila, about an hour away from the city of Oaxaca.  We were there with the Medical Team.  The folks there loved the photos, we took over 70 portraits in 2 days….of families, kids and different combinations of friends and family.  What a great time

The men had just finished eating at one of Dave’s favorite roadside eating establishments, Taqueria El Rodeo, across the street from the main bus station in Oaxaca City (if you ever find yourself in the area you must go eat there)…and we were walking back to Casa Arnel when we bumped into these guys.  The world famous Tuna de la Urse, one of the best roaming minstrels in Mexico and beyond…  They travel all around the world competing and winning.  They played for us and then the men got to pose with them!  Great food and great music!

Happy 20 years of ministry to Adventures in Life!  We hope yall have at least another 20!  Praise God!!


Portrait Time at Dios Es Amor Summer Camp 2012

MISSION focused teamed up with Adventures in Life 3 years ago this Summer,  we took photos of AIL Summer Camp.  That’s where we first began taking portraits of the kids at camp and printing onsite so they could take the photo home with them.

Too often on missions trips the folks who are serving, take tons of photos but they rarely leave any.  Most of the time, after taking the photo, they show the photo on the small screen of the camera and that’s it!  I have been guilty of this myself.

It is our desire to use the gift of photography to bless others and bring honor and glory to Jesus.  One way we can do this is by taking the portraits of the kids and printing them for them.

Adventures in Life Summer Camp 2010

The kids receiving their photos

Terry Schwartz was down in Ensenada earlier this month taking portraits of the kids who came to the Dios Es Amor Summer Camp.  These are just a few of the kid portraits he took.  I am sure Terry was blessed just as much, if not more,  as the kids were.

If you want to join us on one of these missions trips as a photographer, let us know.  We love to share the blessings.

You can see all the portraits that Terry took at our Smugmug site HERE.


Ensenada 2012 :: An Overview of the Week of Ministry with Adventures in Life ~ Dios Es Amor Church

Terry Schwartz being prayed for by the kids at camp! 

Terry worked hard and took lots of great photos.  These are just a few to give yall an idea of what God did this week.

This is the heart of who we are as MISSION focused, to use the gift of photography to document what God is doing through ministries like Adventures in Life and small local churches like Dios Es Amor in Ensenada.

Dios Es Amor ~ Adventures in Life Kids Camp 2012

First Baptist Church of Salinas spent the week with Adventures in Life, sharing the love of Christ with the kids and remodeling the kitchen at Dios Es Amor Church.  The men worked hard and got tons of work done…Please keep the next group, from Gardena Valley Baptist Church and Panorama Baptist Church, in prayer as they come to Ensenada to finish the work that began last week.

Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life, taking some time to recharge and rest during worship.

You can see more photos from the week on our Facebook page HERE


Ensenada 2012 :: Done for Now!

Jesus Velarde…at the end of a long week.

Terry made it back home safely, praise God!, with over a 1000 photos in the can…pray he gets some rest so he can look through all the photos and pick out the best to share.

Please keep the work in Ensenada in your prayers as well, the work continues this coming week.  Check out the following video Dave Miller made, re-capping the week of ministry.  

It’s gonna be another busy week for Dave, as he helps direct the work of Adventures in Life in Ensenada then jumps on a plane for Oaxaca on Friday.

More photos soon!


Terry in Ensendada :: This Is Who We Are

This is Terry.  He is a Marine.  He is wearing makeup.  Probably camouflage to help him blend in more and not be seen, in order to get the shot.  He appears to be printing photos…

Part of what Terry is doing, what MISSION focused is all about, is blessing folks with photos.  To often groups go on mission trips, take tons of photos, and the people they are working with and ministering to never see any of the photos, save the quick look at the screen after capture.

This is Terry in action 2 summers ago in Oaxaca, Mexico.  We were taking portraits of all the kids who came to camp so they could go home with a photo of themselves.

This was a huge blessing for us, realizing that many of these kids had never had their photo taken!  It really is a privilege to be able to do this.

As Terry is still in Ensenada, please keep him in prayer.  He will be taking portraits tomorrow of the kids at the Dios Es Amor camp.

We will be heading down to Oaxaca next week for another kids camp, where we will be taking portraits of the kids once again!

All Glory to God!


Ensenada 2012 :: Summer Camp

Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life Ministry shared this photo (that Terry Schwartz took) on the Adventures in Life FB page, along with the following text….

7 years ago we (AIL & Dios Es Amor Church) started this camp with a few volunteers and 15 kids from Dios Es Amor Church in Ensenada… Now we have a leadership team of over 20 people from Dios Es Amor and almost 90 kids, most of whom do not attend any church… God has been faithful in helping us see a dream move from an idea to reality…

Praise God for the work that’s happening in Ensenada this week.  If you want to help more kids go to summer camp, feel free to email Dave at info@ailministry.org


Adventures in Life~Ensenada

This is Dave and Chelle Miller.  Dave is a blessed man to be able to minister alongside his lovely wife this summer in Mexico.  

The volunteers and campers, arriving for a week of fun, fellowship & Jesus.

Terry is in Ensenada now, photographing what God is doing there with Adventures in Life.  He will be taking photos for Pastor Jesus Vera’s church, Dios es Amor, and taking photos of the kids who will be coming to camp this week.  The following is the first report from Terry, chronicling his journey to Ensenada on Saturday, July 7th.

The trip down and the first day in Ensenada were both challenging and uneventful all in one go of it, if that makes sense.

At noon I had got everything in order and was ready to hit the road, and so I hit it hard. As I approached the border I jumped off the freeway to secure insurance and a few pesos. But alas as I walked into the first insurance office and dropped my registration on the counter, I was soon told that they could not fully insure my lovely little car. Not full insurance just cover any other cars or persons. At the next insurance office the same story; I was about to give up and head home, I was not going to take El Bandito de Amor across the border without coverage. I stopped in BajaMex and they agreed to cover me. This kept me from slinking home in abject failure and disgrace.

I arrived safe and sound about three hours late, but in time for dinner, call me anything but late for dinner. After meeting the rest of the team, we had a lovely dinner prepared by the Pastors family.

I met Pastor Jesus Vera and his lovely wife Mirtha, of the Dios es Amor Church, who will be sponsoring the camp. Tomorrow, Sunday, I will take portraits of Church members before heading off to camp to immortalize the children on film or in the modern vernacular, on Flash cards.

Keep us in your prayers, GOD bless you.

     Terry Schwartz

Dave and Chelle, along with the  folks from First Baptist Church, Salinas.

This week those serving with Adventures in Life will be remodeling the kitchen at Dios es Amor (God is Love Church), and they will be hosting a camp for 100 kids, 80 who do not go to the church.  This is the beginning of a great summer season of ministry for Adventures in Life.  MISSION focused is blessed to be serving alongside Dave and AIL.


Ensenada Bound with Adventures in Life

Terry Schwartz  will be representing MISSION focused in Ensenada next week with Adventures in Life, working with Pastor Jesus Vera and his church, Dios es Amor.  Please keep Terry, Dave Miller and Pastor Jesus in prayer, along with the different groups coming to Ensenada to minister alongside AIL this coming week.

I found this old photo of Terry, in camo, and Mike Saucedo, far right.  It’s hard to find photos of photographers since they are usually behind the camera and not in front.  So the fact that I have 2 photographers in 1 photo is a bonus!

Terry has been faithfully serving God with his skills in photography for as long as I’ve known him, over 10 years.   Please keep him in prayer as uses his gifts for God’s glory this week in Ensenada.

Hopefully he will have time to post photos on our MISSION focused FB site, so keep an eye out.


A Truly Special “Prom” Night!

Mark, Trevor, Terry and brotherjoe at A Night to Remember…I think

MISSION focused joined the photographers at Eastlake Church on Friday evening for A Night to Remember.  Eastlake Church brings together special needs teen-agers for “Prom Night.”   A chance for them to experience what other kids their age are doing this time of year…going to the Prom.

The evenings honored guests are pampered…with make up artists and hair stylists making them look extra nice, they get their photo taken in a studio that is set up and then it’s off to the Prom in a stretch limo!

Once they arrive, their family and friends are there acting at “paparazzi” on the red carpet…

This is the 2nd year we have helped with this great event!  What a blessing and honor to help with this great evening.  Praise God for the folks at Eastlake Church for this wonderful event.

You can view more photos from A Night to Remember HERE


Join Us Wednesday for an Evening of Fun with Dave Miller

Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life Ministry

Dave Miller, in orange, is coming to town next week.  The photo above was taken in the middle of Oaxaca City’s main market at the world famous NIEVES OAXAQUEÑAS CHAGÜITA .  

I first met Dave back in the mid 90’s, after my good friend Grady Martine and Dave co-founded Adventures in Life Ministry.

MISSION focused first started going to Oaxaca with AIL in 2010, to help Dave document the work that God is doing there.  Since February of 2010, we have been down to Mexico with Adventures in Life several times.  The photo above was from February of 2011, with Dave is Cyndy Smith, Jim Wanglund, Terry Schwartz  and Brotherjoe

Wednesday, May 2nd, 7pm at the Rock Church in Rm 353

Dave Miller will be sharing stories with us about our most recent trip with Adventures in Life, along with photos that we took.  This will be a chance to learn what God is doing deep in the heart of Mexico and how you might partner with MISSION focused and AIL as we continue to help them photograph the work of God in Oaxaca.

Please join us, FREE fun, all are welcome!

You can learn more about Adventures in Life Ministry HERE

If you want to see what we have been doing with AIL, please go HERE


Oaxaca 2012 :: The Power of Photography

Having been to Oaxaca several times now…the goal at first was to help document the work of God as through Adventures in Life in Oaxaca.  As we look to the future, 2012 and beyond, our goal hasn’t changed and I believe God has allowed Mission Focused to see more, a bigger picture if you will, of how we can use photography to bless others and continue to show the world what He is doing in the mission field.

Dave Miller with the Mission Focused crew, in the market enjoying some traditional Oaxacan helado(ice cream)

In past trips to Oaxaca, Terry Schwartz, Jim Wanglund and Cyndy Smith have seen first hand what God is doing.  As we continue to beat the drum of using photography to document the work of God in Oaxaca, and in other parts of the world, we would love for you to join us.

For now, our focus is firmly on Oaxaca, but there are folks who wonder what its like or if it’s safe…take a look at this interview I did with Dave on my last trip to Oaxaca.  Mission Focused is preparing to go down to Oaxaca at least 2 more times this year.  If you are interested in coming down to minister with your camera or without,  let us know, we would be glad to talk with you more.


Oaxaca 2012 :: Family Photos

MISSION focused began photographing military families (free of charge) 3 years ago, as a way to say thank you for serving our country.  It has become one of the biggest blessings for us as a group of photographers.  When I began coming down to Oaxaca with Adventures in Life in February of 2010, I started thinking that maybe we could take the concept of free family portraits to Oaxaca, as way to extend the reach of the local churches.  After talking with Dave and Pastors Americo and Norma, they liked the idea…we decided to try it out and see how it went.In this photo, I was able to gather, was 3 generations of one family, spanning 4 generations.  The young girl in red was the daughter/great grand-daughter; the gal in brown was the mom to the young girl and grand-daughter of the women in native Zapotec clothing; and then there was grand-ma/great grand-mother(bis abuela).  How cool was that!  What a huge blessing to be able to take what most likely was their first photo of the 3 of them.In July of 2010, Terry came with me to Oaxaca to help photograph a kids camp Adventures in Life was leading for kids who live in the mountains surrounding Oaxaca.  Terry and I were able to take portraits of every kid and print them so they could take the photo home with them.Along with a photo of themselves, we gave them a copy of the camp photo.  Our plan was to go into some of the towns Americo and Norma are ministering in and take family portraits, unfortunately we got rained in.  There was so much rain the first couple days we were stranded and unable to go and take photos. brotherjoe, Dave, Cyndy, Jim and Terry, with the owner of the famous Chaguita Nievas Oaxaquenas (ice cream like dessert) helados stand in the middle of the market in Oaxaca City.

Last February Terry came back along with Jim and Cyndy to help take portraits.  Unfortunately Jim got sick and had to stay back at home base as Terry, Cyndy and I went out to take photos.Terry in action last FebruaryCyndy taking photos of some of the local kids in San Baltazar, February 2011The reality is this:  In the parts of Oaxaca that Adventures in Life ministers in, family photos is a luxury item that most families can’t afford so they don’t think about it.  The best example I have of this is Hermana Norma’s parents, Santiago y Julia.This is a photo of Santiago and Julia’s wedding day in 1965.  Santiago is at the head of the horse that Julia is sitting on.Terry took this photo of Santiago and Julia last February.  It wasn’t until we showed Hermana Norma this photo that we learned that this was the first photo of the two of them since their wedding day.  I was in Santiago and Norma’s house yesterday and there was this photo hanging on the wall.

This is the power photography!  This is why we come to Oaxaca and this is why we choose to use our gifts for God’s Glory.

**to see more portraits please visit our Facebook page HERE, and while your there please LIKE us**